2020 was a rollercoaster of a year for Flex Entertainment, hallmarked by unprecedented levels of experimentation. New stars rose to the forefront of the game, and Flex became arguably the biggest online label of its kind. The songs were even more absurd and energetic, the albums became more cohesive, and the year culminated in a much more refined Flex than it started with. Thus, we would like to rewind through this year and discuss some of the label's most crucial songs released in 2020.
Yung Lambo featuring Lil Toy Yoda - "Duel of the Fates"
2020 proved to be a banner year for Yung Lambo, whose onslaught of reference-heavy, hyperpop-inspired trap music dominated the latter half of the year. His collaboration with Lil Toy Yoda, "Duel of the Fates," was a precursor to his domination this year, and an amalgamation of the absurd lyricism and production he's known for. With Lambo delivering iconic line after iconic line and Lil Toy Yoda going way harder than he has any right to, all over an immediately memorable instrumental sampling the Duel of the Fates theme itself, the Star-Wars inspired song is a flagship of this year.
Beetlebat - "On the Regular"
Few Flex songs have had as dramatic of a shift in public opinion as Beetlebat's smash hit "On the Regular." Beetle's effortless charm and off-kilter sing-rapping was initially dismissed, but has moseyed its way into the hearts of every listener as the months went by. Beetlebat was perhaps the first artist in Flex to craft bona fide pop rap, as is evidenced on his Beginnings EP released in October. Regardless of the bones some listeners may have to pick with his occasional slips off of the beat or pitch, Beetle's irresistibly down-to-earth personality make it hard not to love "On the Regular."
Lil Joof - "Run it Up!"
Lil Joof released his debut album, The Weeb Life of Jewfree-Chan, at the beginning of the year to positive reception from fans, but spent most of the year being fairly quiet. His grand return came in the form of "Run it Up!", an instant return to form that embraced his newfound love of glitchcore. His subsequent collaborations with Yung Lambo, 57W1ZArd, and Lil Squeaky cemented his new style in the scene of Flex, and this song showed his seemingly estranged fans that Lil Joof never left in the first place.
Lil Mosquito Disease - "Get Shot"
From the moment Lil Mosquito Disease previewed this song back in the spring, initially labeling it a throwaway, it was met with nearly universal praise, and has become somewhat of a second signature song for the rapper behind his world-conquering smash "Trombone Attacc." "Get Shot" solidifies Mosquito's new trap metal sound with hard-hitting production from Shingen and Mosquito's trademark multi-tracked screaming. The song was an instant smash, and garnered Mosquito widespread acclaim. We may never understand exactly what he's saying in this song, but when your head is banging as hard as it will be when this song scorches your speakers to the ground, the lyrics should be the least of your concerns.
Young Seagull - "Yak-Killer"
Young Seagull may be considered an underdog by most, but the rapper and addiction therapist was covered by numerous different prominent reactors, including the infamous Rap Critic himself. Seagull's highly scientific lyricism has drawn attention from intellectuals and scholars across the globe, and in response to the growing epidemic of Asian giant hornets this year, he took to the studio to lay down a savage diss track on every last one of them. Seagull's off-kilter flow and rich vocabulary glide effortlessly over the EDM-inspired instrumental, creating one of the most unique and scientific tracks the label bestowed upon the public this year.
White Fury - "Ice in the Bag"
2020 brought us a number of prominent newcomers, including long-time Flex fan White Fury. His psych-rap album The Cataclysmic drew plenty of positive attention towards him, and the smash hit "Ice in the Bag" off that album proved one of Flex's most memorable tracks this year. The obscure instrumental paired with Fury's tongue-in-cheek delivery provide for an eyebrow-raising yet unquestionably thrilling experience. White Fury effectively reinvented trap as we know it with this one, and that's nothing to scoff at.
Lil Squeaky - "Nipples"
In an era in which the Flex Entertainment Hot 100 was dominated by Submarine Man, Big Baller B, and Lil Mosquito Disease, rising star Lil Squeaky cracking the top 10 with his devilishly catchy "Nipples" was a sight to behold. And truth be told, "Nipples" was the beginning of a winning streak for Squeaky, who slowly rose up the ranks to being a Flex favorite. "Nipples" carried infectious flows, countless quotable lines, and a star-studded remix in the form of "Nipples 2." This song was the genesis of one of Flex's most important acts of the year, and still holds up going into the new year.
Depp Gibbs - "Depp is Depp"
Another prominent newcomer this year was experimental hip-hop band Depp Gibbs, one of Flex's first bands. Though their introduction was somewhat rough, they immediately turned the whole label on its head with "Depp is Depp," standing out from the crowd with their unusual use of sampling and lead vocalist Depp's impossibly deep voice. Coupled with the lore-based lyrics following the group's concept and a sample flip of Matthew Wilder's 80s staple "Break My Stride," Depp Gibbs cemented their influence in Flex with this off-kilter classic.
Yung Garfield featuring Emily Finchum - "Better Flex Charts'
Yung Garfield spent 2019 firmly under the radar, despite being one of the label's first signees, but emerged from the shadows in an explosive fashion with his Viper collaboration "Cosby." However, it's his follow-up single "Better Flex Charts" that truly shook up the game.
A seemingly impossible collaboration between the lo-fi pop singer and the decidedly more crude rapper, "Better Flex Charts" ambushes the listener with back-to-back sucker punches filled to the brim with ambition and absurdity. From Emily Finchum's somber and out-of-place intro, to Garfield's nigh incomprehensible triple-tracked verse, to the uncredited guest appearances from Juice WLRD, Chad Kroeger, and Viper, Garfield orchestrated a chaotic explosion of ideas on "Better Flex Charts," all while subtly dissing Beetlebat for the controversy surrounding his Flex Entertainment Hot 100 chart.
Hood Guy featuring White Fury & Lil Pinecone - "Furries at the Home Depot"
Say what you will about Hood Guy's 2020 output, but you can't deny that he was one of, if not the single most prolific Flex artist of 2020, releasing a number of different projects over the course of the year. The pinnacle of Hood Guy's 2020 was his widely acclaimed "Furries at the Home Depot," where he, White Fury, and Lil Pinecone deliver eye-widening verses riddled with effects ranging from autotune to pitch-shifting, as they call out Home Depot stores for harboring furries. The song also helped pioneer a wave of drill music in the label, promptly followed by the likes of Yung Garfield, Lil Toy Yoda, and Lil Squeaky.
CRZFawkz - "Stevie Bricks"
Fleetwood Mac saw a surprising resurgence in popularity this year, as their song "Dreams" became an unexpected smash thanks to TikTok. CRZFawkz was quick to capitalize on this trend with "Stevie Bricks," a perfect representation of the rapper and entrepreneur's signature style. From the deep, whispered cadence of the song to the impeccably sampled instrumental, "Stevie Bricks" is a haunting track that brought Halloween chills to our doorsteps weeks in advance.
Wild Wes - "Boom Bap No Cap"
Wild Wes saw a massive return to form late in the year, signing back to Flex and returning to his boom-bap roots. "Boom Bap No Cap" is a celebratory single of sorts, in which Wes reflects on the pressure he faced by fellow musicians in 2020 as he dipped his feet into trap music, before going back to exactly what made him on his smash hits like "The Rapper Got Wacked." Much like what "Run it Up!" did for Lil Joof fans, "Boom Bap No Cap" reminded Wes's newly revitalized fanbase that the Wes they had known and loved for years had gone nowhere, and was here to stay.
.jitters - "They Are All Chris Pratt"
.jitters returned from a year-long hiatus to sign to Flex, and released a number of fascinating double-singles in the last few months of 2020, headlined by his EP On Tha S. Perhaps the most innovative of his new material is the funk-influenced "They Are All Chris Pratt," beginning and ending with a sample from a Froot Loops commercial. .jitters showcases his signature vocal gymnastics on this track, as he takes the listener on a ride through multitracked, distorted, whispered, and yelled deliveries of lyrics describing and apocalypse of Chris Pratts. The song gave way to somewhat of a resurgence for .jitters, who has been achieving lots of success on his new SoundCloud page, and he is primed to be one of Flex's biggest up-and-comers in 2021.
Tending Bike - "Side Effects (Remix)"
And for our final entry, and our sole remix on our list, we revisit one of Flex's very first artists: Tending Bike, formerly known as Big Lil. Initially shunned for his deep-voiced, barely audible delivery, he experienced a tremendous resurgence in popularity and respect in the latter half of 2020, initially courtesy of his Weeknd collaboration "Backseat," another strong contender for our list. However, we ended up highlighting his star-studded remix of his deleted track "Side Effects," which achieved sleeper hit status late in the year. The remix, featuring the original verses from Bike, Lil Kolya, and Lil PP, as well as new ones from Lil Squeaky, Lil Mosquito Disease and Yung Lambo, is an emotionally raw gut-puncher that cuts like a knife each time you listen to it. Tending Bike is back and here to stay, and we're delighted to see that his older week has found a newfound appreciation by the masses.
We're keeping our eyes peeled for 2021, and we can't wait to see what new talent the new year brings for us. The Flex Gang cannot be stopped!